CISA, NSA and ODNI Publish Assessment on Potential Threats to 5G Network Slicing

Enduring Security Framework (ESF) partners at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) published an assessment of 5G network slicing. The paper, “Potential Threats to 5G Network Slicing,” is developed by industry and government experts of a working panel under the ESF and it builds upon the 2021 ESF Potential Threat Vectors to 5G Infrastructure paper.

This working panel assessed the security, risks, benefits, design, deployment, operations, and maintenance of a network slice. For this paper, a network slice is defined as an end-to-end logical network that provides specific network capabilities and characteristics for a user.

Although network slicing is not solely unique to 5G, it is a critical component because 5G specifications call for network slicing as a fundamental component and therefore require network operators to adopt security practices that can mitigate threats like those described in this paper, such as Denial of Service, Man-in-the-Middle attacks, and configuration attacks.

As with any emerging technology, with increased benefits come increased risks. This paper intends to introduce 5G stakeholders to the benefits associated with network slicing and introduce perceived risks and management strategies that may address those risks.

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Steve Lyddon
Protective Security Advisor, Region 5, Illinois
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Cell:  217-299-3954 |